Tag Archives: Ellen Forrester

The Irish Widow’s Message to Her Son in America

“Remember, Denis, all I bade you say,
Tell him we’re well and happy, thank the Lord!
But of all our troubles since he went away,
You’ll mind, avic, and never say a word, –
Of cares and troubles sure we’ve had all our share,
The finest summer isn’t always fair.

“Tell him the spotted heifer calved in May, –
She died, poor thing, but that you needn’t mind –
Now how the constant rain destroyed the hay;
But tell him, God to us was always kind,
And when the fever spread the country o’er.
His mercy kept the sickness from the door.

“Be sure you tell him how the neighbours came
And cut the corn and stored it in the barn;
‘Twould be as well to mention them by name –
Pat Murphy, Ned McCabe, and James McCarn,
And big Tim Daly from behind the hill –
But say, agra, Oh, say, I miss him still!

“They came with ready hands our toil to share –
‘Twas then I missed him most my own right hand!
I felt, although kind hearts were round me there,
The kindest heart beat in a foreign land.
Strong arm! Brave heart! Oh, severed far from me
By many a weary mile of shore and sea!

“You’ll tell him she was with us (he’ll know who),
Mavourneen! Hasn’t she winsome eyes?
The darkest, deepest, brightest, bonniest blue
That ever shone, except in summer skies;
And such black hair! – it is the blackest hair
That ever rippled o’er a neck so fair.

“tell him that Pincher fretted many a day –
Ah, poor old fellow, he had like to die!
Crouched by the roadside, how he watched the way,
And sniffed the travellers as they passed him by.
Hail, rain and sunshine, sure, ’twas all the same,
he listened for the foot that never came.

“Tell him the house is lonesome-like and cold,
The fire itself seems robbed of half its light;
but maybe ’tis my eyes are growing old,
And things grow dim before my failing sight;
For all that, tell him, ’twas myself that spun
The shirts you bring, and stitched them every one.

“Give him my blessing : morning, noon and night,
Tell him my prayers are offered for his good,
That he may keep his maker still in sight,
And firmly stand as his brave fathers stood,
True to his name, his country and his God,
Faithful at home and steadfast still abroad.